Hello everyone, in this review I would like to share my impressions and thoughts about the VR helmet and controllers Pico 4. The headset is standalone, with its own processor, system and games, but it can be connected to a PC, via wire or WiFi, with the ability to play any PC games that support SteamVR. Also, if you wish, you can play Oculus games that were released on PC through a special LibreVR utility or Virtual Desktop (Oculus Quest 2 is emulated).
Packaging and equipment
The device comes in a large, hard box. The weight of the box leaves about 2.4 kilograms.
Nothing dangles inside the box, the helmet and controllers are well fixed.
The kit includes: the helmet itself, controllers, charging, a wire for synchronization and charging, straps for controllers, as well as a plastic pad to remove the front mask for glasses or lenses.
The set comes with 2 controllers powered by two AA batteries. Batteries are already included.
Charging for 20 watts, 2 amps, on a Chinese / American plug. Some sellers include an adapter in the kit, some don’t.
We have a cable from type-c to type-c, suitable for charging, but it will not be possible to synchronize with every PC, since type-c output is not so common on motherboards. Cable size is 1 meter, USB 2.0 cable standard.
The pad on the magnets allows you to slightly move the mask for glasses or lenses, it is securely fastened, the magnets hold the frame very firmly and it is not so easy to unhook it later. There is also a nose pad to prevent light from coming in from below.
For fans of active games, like Beat Cyber, there are straps for controllers.
• Processor Qualcomm XR2, 8 Cores 64 bit, 2.84 GHz;
• RAM: 8 GB;
• Built-in memory 128 GB;
• Display resolution: 4.320 ✕ 2.160 (2.160 ✕ 2.160 per eye);
• Screen refresh rate: 72Hz / 90Hz;
• Viewing angle: 105°;
• Interpupillary distance: 62-72 mm;
• Wireless: Wi-Fi: Support Wi-Fi 6, 2.4GHz/5GHz, Bluetooth 5.1;
• Battery life 5300mAh;
• Speakers built-in, there is a dual microphone;
First of all, it is worth noting that the helmet is quite modern and light. It is felt on the head, but there is no pressure, including on the bridge of the nose. The weight of the helmet is divided into two parts, in front we have everything basic: boards, lenses, etc., and the battery pack is located at the back.
The front mask is soft, pleasant to the touch. There are 2 versions of masks, for the European region and the Asian region, the Asian one is more compact. The lenses are large, but without focal length adjustment. If you have any vision problems, then the picture can be soapy and you will either have to wear glasses or buy lenses that are attached to magnets. Lenses for Pico 4 are already on AliExpress and you can buy them. The interpupillary distance is programmatically adjusted, through the settings, the motors themselves move the lenses. At the lowest setting, 64mm, the lenses are already pressing on the nose, squeezing it, so with this IPD there is a chance that the device will be uncomfortable, for all other values, up to 72mm, everything will be fine.
The front mask is removable, mounted on magnets, sits in place confidently.
At the back of the helmet, the pillow is moderately soft, the material can be easily cleaned if any dirt gets on it.
Mounts can be adjusted to the size of the head, for this there is an adjusting ring.
The controllers are comfortable, the tracking rings are designed so that they will not hit each other during the game. They sit comfortably in the hands, I did not notice any problems with tracking.
The buttons are standard, like the Oculus Quest 2, there is a button for recording video and a screenshot (long press records video). Grips and triggers are pressed gently. It is also worth noting that the sticks “crunch”, apparently not the most successful design due to their small size.
The controller is powered by two AA batteries. They are inserted in a rather original way, into the battery pack, which leaves if you move the lever. The kit already comes with 2 batteries.
The operating system is Pico OS, some modified version of Google Android. Outwardly, it resembles the Oculus Quest 2 environment. At the bottom there is a strip with applications, you can also call up a menu with brightness, volume and battery status controls. The operating system has a browser, a task manager, an application for streaming from a PC, an application for watching videos. You can install applications from Android and they work, but not all. Also, if you buy a helmet on AliExpress, then most likely you will have a version of the Chinese region, in which some applications will be in Chinese, but there are already instructions on the Internet on how to overwrite these applications with European ones.
Pico 4 has its own games, but there are already quite a few of them, it’s not easy to buy them today, since there is no way to pay for them with a card, due to the shutdown of international payments, but you can already find free versions of games on the Internet. They are installed without any problems, just install the APK file and log in to your account.
There are already a lot of games, there are various hits, such as Arizona Sunshine, Angry Birds, Contractors, there are various sports games, online shooters and much more. Here is some of them.
You can also connect the helmet via WiFi or USB cable and play SteamVR games. To do this, you need to download from the official website of Streaming Assistant, then select the type of connection, type of quality and you can start playing. There is also an alternative streaming application — Virtual Desktop, which allows you to more flexibly configure the connection to your PC.
Some VR games on PC have been tested: Palov VR, Resident Evil 2 VR mod, Half-Life: Alyx, Half-Life 2 VR and they work without any problems. Unless, for some games, it is better to change the layout in order not to press the sticks to rotate the camera. Also, if any game does not see the controllers, then look at the user layouts and select one of them, after which everything should work.
The picture in the helmet is clear, the mosquito net and pixels are not visible. A clear image as in all vr helmets in the center of the lens, the image is not so clear at the edges. The picture seemed a little dimmer than in other VR helmets, but not by much. There is also a problem, in that since the resolution of the displays is quite large, then the content for them needs to be quite large, otherwise it will be soapy.
The viewing angle is quite large, it feels like you are right in the game, there is practically no effect of an underwater mask. Also, some owners are already printing more compact masks for themselves, allowing them to further increase the viewing angle in the game.
Pancake lenses are installed in the helmet and they have features, they reflect images in themselves, they are not very striking, but in some scenes it will be noticeable, like on the main screen of Pico OS. In general, this is not noticeable in games, because on various color images, reflections are superimposed on top of them and their effect is minimal, at the level of slight noise on the textures.
It is also worth noting that there are not so many black levels and dark areas with objects can merge into a single area, this is probably due to the same Pancake lenses (due to loss of brightness). Perhaps they will fix it in future firmware.
By the way, be careful and do not leave the helmet with the lenses to the sun, this is absolutely impossible, because the sunlight is focused and burns through the displays.
The autonomy of the helmet is rather weak, despite the fact that a 5300 mAh battery is installed in the helmet, the helmet is discharged before our eyes, this is due to the fact that the helmet always works under 100% load, plus the processor itself is slightly overclocked. The helmet lasts for about 1.5-2 hours of autonomous use, depending on the game, brightness. You can play more on the wire, the helmet discharges weaker. Also on AliExpress you can find a cable that can charge and transmit data at the same time, in which case the helmet will not be discharged at all.
• Price, more or less reasonable price, if you take a helmet on AliExpress;
• High resolution, large viewing angle;
• Do not put pressure on the nose;
• Small autonomy;
• No DisplayPort connection, only streaming;
• No focal length adjustment;
• Poor quality sticks (crunching);
Output: There are not many modern VR helmets on the market that can offer such functionality and resolution at such a price, so Pico 4 can be safely recommended for purchase and use. You can buy it on AliExpress.